Lying on the massage table this morning, debating on whether I was going to survive the experience, it dawned on me that what was needed to combat the pain was a different perspective. As I whined about the soreness and reflexively jumped, Harry reminded me that my memories always show up in my muscles. That I understood...it is all about energy and how it shifts and the affect tension has on me. I asked him to give me a picture of what was going on in those treacherously sore spots and what caused the pain. He spoke to what was happening in the muscle and how the lactic acid had frozen everything up, and how the process freed up the muscle to release the toxins and repair itself. The conversation triggered a thought about how everything that keeps us stuck keeps us sick. After all, the point of my visit was to empower my body’s innate healing tendencies - so I let go.
Awareness and perception are the keys to how we experience our world. However, when the intensity of the moment catches me off guard, my first reaction is to fight the perceived threat to my existence. When I do this I often sabotage the things that help me the most. This part of the human process we inherited from our caveman ancestors. Fight or flight….this we had to do to survive. Fear does that to us. It causes us to retreat, retract and strike out in order to maintain our current level of being…even when it is painful. The stress that keeps us ill is stored in our muscles and according to my therapist, “our memories show up in our muscles”. When we don’t recognize this, our worn out and inviable belief systems rule our existence. Our bodies finally break down and create illness because of the things we can’t or won’t acknowledge. (See Christian Northrup M.D. on Adrenal Fatigue for an explanation of this process and ways to heal: http://www.drnorthrup.com/adrenal-exhaustion/)
My own journey of “just trying to make it through it” brought me to a place of do-or-die. When you are facing the devastation of addiction, you have the advantage of the usually quite visible wreckage of your past as evidence. For others it can be much more subtle. It shows up in unfulfilled dreams, destructive relationships, constant and chronic illnesses, phobias, etc. Whatever keeps us “stuck” comes from the “memory in the muscles”. They are things that cause me to stay small because some belief system stemming from an event, a skewed belief system, or statement in my past, rides dominion on my brain. The moment I consider veering off the safe road, my muscles freeze up, my brain shuts down, and I try to avoid whatever pain I perceive is waiting for me. Every time I let fear be my guiding force, my choices are removed.
Being active in the addiction community helping others is a blessing and a curse at times. I have witnessed so many die needlessly, even sober for many years. So many settle for so much less than what is available to them. We all have the ability to affect monumental changes in our lives but only if we start looking for ways to continue to grow and evolve. For each of us it is a personal journey, but one that is always a breath of willingness away.
Every morning I look at what things are good in my life. I set the timer on my phone for 5-15 minutes, get still and center myself and focus on how having those things make me feel. This practice opens my heart and relaxes my muscles...and relaxed muscles allow peace into my heart. Meditation, writing, exercise, and gardening…are all things that heal my spirit. My health has improved immensely due to constant attention to my own wellbeing through a variety of techniques and good nutrition. I do not accept illness as a permanent diagnosis…only as a new opportunity for discovery. If something doesn’t feel right I explore it, write about it and address it as quickly as possible whether it be mental or physical.
Exercise that self-love “muscle” and consider what is keeping you from having the life you want. Then give your thoughts to ways to move forward and to move out from anywhere you are currently stuck. Write it down so you can see the evidence of your willingness to move into positive change for your wellbeing.
What small step can you take toward claiming your happiness today?
Insecurity drove me into cohabitation after I gave up on dating. It had been a long time since I honestly put myself “out there” and it was daunting. I told myself time and again I knew what I was doing. After all, shouldn’t I at least know what NOT to do? Who not to see or be with? But after many disappointing encounters, I maneuvered myself into a relationship with a customer and 6 months later we were living together. I was a single mother to a difficult teenage daughter, recently divorced and definitely disenchanted. My 17-year marriage had been fading away for 16 years and I didn’t realize it until it finally imploded. My daughter, angry with me for leaving, lived with her father until he became incapable of supporting her emotionally or financially. So here I was, a reluctant daughter, divorced, tiny apartment, cleaning up the financial flotsam of divorce, and trying to figure out what to do next. My daughter was gone every weekend and I found myself lonely for companionship.
It had been almost 30 years since I had actually dated.
If it has been awhile since you dated, are trying to figure out where to start, or are unsure of what you are looking for, here are some pointers from my own experience.
1. There are many places to meet people with similar interests and goals. Dating sites are all designed to help people “hook up”. There are many to choose from and some are even free. If you do meet someone on line, correspond by email for a few weeks before you exchange numbers or meet. If they are in a hurry that might be a big red flag. If you want to be less obvious and try out the waters first, there is a wonderful site designed to help you “find your people” - www.meetup.com. This site is designed to help you find others with similar interests and there are many for singles of all ages available as well as groups that meet who love to read, like certain kinds of sports and activities, enjoy certain kinds of food, etc. Getting out and having conversations with others, learning to enjoy being and doing again is vital research into what makes you happy… or what makes you “tick”. Of course there are church groups for singles, and many other ways to connect…get creative and do your research.
2. When you find someone who interests you, meet on neutral ground, take your own car, and make it a casual coffee date. Every coffee shop is filled with people meeting for the first time. When you meet someone on line you can never be sure what you will “end up with”. I would get there early, park out of site of the front doors if possible, and purchased my own coffee. I felt more secure by doing this and it gave me an out if I didn’t like the person who showed up. An hour for coffee is a small investment and if things go well, then you can make plans to head to dinner or meet at a later time. I also Googled their names to see what came up on the internet before I was alone with them in a car, etc. One time this paid off by revealing someone’s registration as a sex offender. Yes it happens, but it is rare.
3. Be honest from the start! There are a lot of folks who don’t like themselves so they lie and hope you will fall for the illusion they have created for themselves. (God bless them) If I can create what I think is the perfect image of myself on line, I will attract those who will fall in love with the image. What does this make me? A liar, a cheat and a thief. A liar because I misrepresented myself to the folks on line. They fall for the lie, (or that is my intention) and that makes me a thief because I steal time from them and myself that could be spent being honest and real. Case in point: I had dinner with a man whose story and photo had attracted me. He seemed handsome, successful, kind and seemed to have a healthy concern for his well-being. Subsequently, the man who showed up for dinner was 50 pounds heavier, 10 years older, and continuously lamented his old life and who he USED to be. He cheated me out of several days of what could been spent corresponding with someone who was honest. He lied to me because he wasn’t happy with himself and so cheated himself out of what could have been honest communication. Out of kindness and a desire to know more, I spent the meal with him but declined dancing afterward. I also paid for my own meal. I let him know in as kind a way as I knew how, that I believed he had made a mistake by misrepresenting himself and that it would have been much better if he had been honest. We can save a lot of time and energy by just naturally being who we are.
4. Ask questions and be prepared for what you are looking for before you go…but be open to new experiences as well. It took a painful breakup for me to understand why knowing what I was looking for was so important. I realized after a lot of soul searching and deep emotional work that what led to his stealth-like departure had nothing to do with me. I had been honest with what my needs were, and honest with how not having them met made me feel. He felt incapable of delivering, left for work and never returned. OUCH! In retrospect I now understand how many red flags I ignored to “try and make it work”. Now that I have been in a healthy and loving relationship for 7 years, I understand what it takes…and it doesn't require a lot of work. When you get clear on what it is you want, you will attract that to you. Knowing who I am and what I want was the key, and love in this relationship comes easily.
5. Know who you are. To heal from my past, I had to get really clear on what I believed and see how I sabotaged my own joy. I had to get face-to-face with my own feelings in order to eliminate the things in my life that were blocking me from having what I wanted most. And it was never about the material things or the person – it was about how I felt at the end of the day when it was just me, God, and my pillow. Journal, get involved in support groups, see a counselor or coach, take stock of the things that no longer serve you, read books that appeal to you, listen to podcasts, and/or attend workshops. Do whatever it takes to get a true picture of who you are – with everything else stripped away. I decided to stop hunting for someone or something to satisfy my needs, and began to hunt for myself. When I finally found her, the rest came easily.
So there you have it, just a few ideas on how to get yourself back into the dating scene. Remember, all our fears are based on past experiences…not current ones. You can change your perspective and therefore change your “luck”.
Who are you when you look in the mirror? Am I the kind of person I want to be with?
We are all curious about something. Even in the course of a day fraught with routine, each one of us have wondered what things might have been, or asked ourselves what we would do instead, "if only".
How many of us are as happy as we could be? Ever wondered what it takes to get there? Most of us get caught up in the day-to-day routine of just "getting through it". At the end of the day we lack the energy to seek anything else, to do anything new. By the time we get finished with the "have to's" there is no time for the "want to's". And before we know it we have given up because we tell ourselves we have missed out on the opportunities.
But what if we decided to make curiosity a mantra, a watchword, or an emotional and spiritual focus? How could giving ourselves permission to be curious again change our lives? Children live in that place of curiosity and find wonder around every corner. We have that in us, we always have. What would it be like to make that our dangling carrot, our lure for the day?
Giving up 30 minutes of sleep to give yourself time to ponder, to explore and to be curious might reveal life changing information. It could be a foundation for a day filled with possibilities. What would happen if you started writing down things you were interested in?
It might go something like this...
"I am curious to know what it would feel like to be/do_________. Be strong? Sing on a stage? Write a story? Hike the canyon? Paint a picture? Be a part of a group of folks interested in________? You control it. You fill in the blanks. Write about things that would delight you and keep you coming back for more. And as you explore things you would like to learn about, experience, or create, you will start to have new ideas connected to those desires. Best of all, the feelings you experience will begin to energize and move inside you. In addition, those changing feelings become like a magnet to the universe that begins to draw the possibilities to you. The best thing is that in the few extra minutes you carve out for yourself in the morning, you set in motion the trajectory of your life.
Yes, it is that easy.
This is not goal setting, this is "dream allowing". It is a process to open up to the idea that those things you keep putting off or didn't believe you were entitled to, just might be possible. Write it down, make it real (at least on the page) and see what happens to your disposition. Do it often, and as your perspective toward the possibilities change, so will your life.
Being curious is an invitation to the life you were meant to live. The answers will come if you are willing to look.
What will you be curious about today?
Click on the green "comments" below and let me know what you find!
Good morning my darling! Welcome to a brand new day! In front of you is a new opportunity to create and experience things that you have never encountered. What will you do with this gift that you have been given?
Ahhhh….look at those gorgeous eyes filled with wonder! Remember the days when you were afraid to look? They are nothing but litter decomposing in the light of your current understanding.
What a smile you have! How easy it is to smile today knowing you have so many ways in which to move into this life you desire.
What adventures will you go on today? What does your heart tell you? When you sit in the sunshine quietly, who speaks to you? When your mind encounters negativity today, be kind and let it go with love. How you speak to yourself determines how you show yourself to others. What would you like them to see?
You have traveled roads that no one else has traveled, seen things that no one else has seen. You have been well equipped for this day by the knowledge that you are strong and capable and can endure and overcome things that not many will attempt willingly – but you made it! Bravo my dear one – you have a strength that many seek!
This body you travel in, is nothing but a vessel, yet it has gotten you this far and can be trusted. What will you do to honor its loyalty to you today?
Your gratitude for this day is the song you sing to those around you to help them see what is good, and possible, and can fill them with delight. Keep singing! There are many who will hear your voice.
Rest assured that you do not travel alone. Many are here with you. Many are waiting for you to call. Reach out and know that you will have what you need when you need it. You have only to ask.
You have so many talents and abilities that are waiting to blossom. Explore them. They are the core of your being and are only waiting for permission to evolve and feel the light of your love. You will know them when you seek them. The evidence of this has been with you since your conception and is just waiting to be embraced.
Your heart heals easily when you give it what it longs for. Seek it.
Life is extremely important to me because it used to be so difficult – and now it isn’t. The littered byways of my past gave me a foundation of grace and multiple victories in whose honor was birthed gratitude. It was never particularly easy and always came after I was rescued through some spiritually serendipitous event. The one common theme in all of it was - I had to surrender.
Surrender in this sense is about coming to terms with who I really am rather than measuring my success and failure by the people around me or what kind of job I have. It is about identifying what is real and what is imagined, and paying attention to what is going on inside of my own head. Sitting still with my own thoughts saved me, even when I was too terrified to look. When I am resisting and struggling to make sense out of something and can’t get past it, I know it is time to surrender.
Being able to pull together on paper where my thoughts kept taking me, provided a place to start. It was the first tangible evidence to myself that I was doing something about whatever problem I used as a reason for my unfortunate life. Even in the midst of confusion, I can make lists of how I feel, what I see, and what I believe the cause or the solution might be. An architect must have a plan before he can construct a house…and so it is with the building of my own character and the richness of my own life.
Seeing how my brain operates in black and white was the beginning I needed to turn my life around. It revealed to me how I thought about myself and others. Utilizing a journal and just unloading the “head committee’s” agenda on paper gave me glorious insight to my own fears and self-doubt. Going to someone I could trust to be non-judgmental (counselors, mentors, coaches) about what I had discovered, gave me relief because now those thoughts had somewhere to land. The more I was able to process through all the things that kept me stuck, the freer I felt. Dumping that stuff on paper is cathartic and gives me a starting point for the journey of change.
Most of us go through life on auto-pilot, out of touch with our feelings and allowing the world around us to dictate how we behave each day. When you wake up enough to realize you don’t like the place you are in emotionally, it is time to take some action. Capture that awareness in a journal so that you can step outside of the emotion and become a willing observer instead. Surrendering to the human need to understand may just empower you to find victory in the process.
What is keeping you from surrendering today?
Right now there are people doing their grocery shopping either avoiding the card aisles, walking through them longingly, or wishing they didn’t have to bother with them. Leave it to the greeting card industry to create a holiday that we either loathe or love. I remember as a child, the carefully decorated lunch bags hanging from the chalkboard tray with each child’s name placed strategically on the front. Teachers sent home lists of names to ensure that each child would receive a valentine. How excited we were to reach into the bag and see who had chosen us to be their valentine. Yes, the heartbreaks started early.
I remember having to rush to the store, my daughter in a panic, when she discovered we had the count wrong. As adults it only gets worse for some of us. We threaten our significant others with all manner of consequences if they forget. Some of rush at the last minute to grab anything lest our love interest think we don’t care. Many of us plan elaborate treats and a special rendezvous. Unfortunately, this is the holiday that reminds many that something is lacking in our lives.
I don’t like Valentine’s Day…it lets too many lightweights off the hook. It is as if they can buy a “get out of jail free card” to hold over your head for the rest of the year. I don’t want that kind of lover in my life. I like being treated as if I am special every day. You got that right…I expect it. But there is more to the formula than that. I give it back. My husband and I don’t do much for Valentine’s Day because we do a lot for each other during the other 364 days of the year. I don’t mean flowers and candy kinds of things…I mean things that are more subtle and satisfying. Isn’t it more exciting to plan a special dinner on a day that is unique from everyone else’s? How about remembering that your spouse mentioned something they were out of and by the next day it was magically sitting on the counter waiting for them? Being aware enough and listening to one another to pick up on cues is an indication that you matter to one another. Noticing things that need to be done and just doing it…not fighting each other to see who carries the biggest load is a sign of devotion. Working as a team. Now THAT is the kind of love letter I like getting.
If this holiday creates an emotional rash for you…there are ways to start planning ahead. Think of ways to make it special for someone else. There are lots of older people who are alone and could use a hand, a thoughtful gesture, or would appreciate a plant or a card. Who of your own circle of friends and relatives are alone? Maybe you could invite them to have dinner, order or pizza or share a bottle of wine in honor of love…if only for ourselves. How many teachers are there that try to make every day special for your child? What could you do to make them feel special? Get creative and look for ways to surprise others.
If we are alone and overwhelmed with the fact, imagine what being romanced would look like for you. Then do it for yourself. If you think having someone cook you a lovely dinner and buy you flowers would feel nice…then do it for yourself! There is something amazing about taking the time to do things thoughtfully to pamper ourselves. Buy something soft and comfy that speaks to you and pay attention to how it feels on your skin. Splurge on some new music or a special tea. Plan something special and put it on your calendar…now! Keeping the focus on what treats you are going to allow yourself on that day will be much more rewarding than wasting the coming weeks on feeling sorry for yourself.
Love is not something we earn, it is something we can give ourselves every day. When we learn how to do that for ourselves, we will easily recognize and trust it when it DOES come from someone else. Whatever you decide to do, be grateful that you are able to do it and celebrate the fact that each day has within it the possibility for new and wondrous things.
Just remember it is just one of 365 days you can love yourself and others.
So lover, what is YOUR plan?
I took a chance last year at quitting the work I had been doing for 20 years. I had come to a place in my life that no matter how I tried to spin it in my own head, what I did for a living gave me no joy. I would get up early, pray, meditate and try to psyche myself up to just get through the day but by lunchtime I wanted to bolt. My shoulders were becoming frozen in a hunched position and my back and neck hurt from sitting in a chair all day long. I kept several chiropractors busy over the years, ended up with dry eye syndrome from staring at the computer screen all day and my jaws ached from gritting my teeth.
My body and mind were screaming at me loud enough to finally listen.
I have been journaling, seeing counselors, doing workshops and reading self-help books for years. I make gratitude lists and vision boards and have done all kinds of work around self-discovery. I knew what I enjoyed doing do but kept telling myself that I didn’t have the skills, the education, or I was just too old to start over in the kind of career I thought I would enjoy. In other words, I kept sabotaging my own dream by the way I spoke to myself. My focus was on all the things that kept me from having what I wanted and kept hidden all the things that would help me live my dream. A quote that I came across was a lightning bolt to my awareness “Do not let what you cannot do keep you from doing what you can”. Wow…I got it.
So I began the journey to change my thinking from I can’t, to I can.
I began to ask myself “how CAN I do this?” My journal became a unfailing record of how I talked to myself and I began to recognize that I blamed my circumstances and other people for the quality of my own life. I wasn’t trying to change at all, I had only been bitching about what was wrong. This perspective only fueled my self-doubt and undermined anything new I attempted.
So I prayed for a different perspective.
Several amazing books “showed up” in the coming weeks. The common thread in these was the law of attraction and how the energy of our thoughts draw to us things that match that energy. If I focus on having a bad day the moment I open my eyes – well chances are that is exactly what I will end up with. When I focus on things that carry a higher energy signature, such as love, gratitude, service to others – I feel better because the energy is lighter, brighter and more positive. Negative energy such as berating myself for a mistake, judging others, and expecting a rotten day is heavy and constricting like a vice. It squeezes out any space I have for what lifts me up and gives me hope. I noticed how much better I felt when I would catch myself in the negative and made a concerted effort to turn my thinking around. My focus became more on the present and what was going on inside me and seemed to propel me into a better future.
The difference it made in life was so astounding that my life completely transformed. I went back to school at 57 to learn a new trade. I said yes to a lot of things that I thought I would never do. I started my own coaching practice. My relationships improved all around, and I was sincere and true to myself and my dreams in everything I did. My quality of life improved in ways I had only dreamed of. All from changing my thinking.
The coaches I have had were marvelous in catching me when I slipped into my old gremlin of self-doubt and helped upright me and set me back on track. Just having someone to check in with each week was what helped me change careers, get through school, and start my own practice. Today I coach others who are walking through so many of the challenges that I have overcome. That is my gift – the ability to let them know that happiness and fulfillment in life is attainable…no matter what.
If you think you can – you can.
After years of trying to make "conditional" love work, being faced with the idea of "unconditional" love terrified me. Every relationship in my life had a price-tag, you do this - I give you that. My marriages were more like competitions to see who would give in first. I stayed endlessly angry with bosses, with my parents, with anyone who couldn't touch that place inside of me that just would not heal. Problem was, I spent all my life protecting that place.
Fast forward 30+ years, 2 divorces, one disappearing act later, I have figured out that THEY were never the problem. It was me all along. Damn hard pill to swallow, that one. I had the freedom to walk away any time I chose to...yet I continued to stay and try to figure out how to get them to meet my conditions. That is what I had been conditioned to do by my past. I have learned much about relationships since then.
One of the beneficial things about being involved in a recovery fellowship for so many years is that I have been mentored and consistently provided guidance as a mentor to others for most of those years. Our focus is on having a spiritual awakening that will solve all our problems. Thank God they don't all surface at the same time! So checking in with where we are emotionally is the way we continue and grow. Not everyone has that luxury. If I am doing it right I catch things BEFORE they destroy my universe. The entire process is about unconditional love so that we help one another heal. I now see love as a sincere desire to allow the other person to grow emotionally and spiritually...NOT make them into what I think I want.
It took quite a while for me to allow this to filter into my personal life. The others in my fellowship were easy to practice on...they knew EXACTLY what I was dealing with. They taught me to trust. It wasn't until I chose to get into a committed relationship with someone who didn't have a clue about recovery that I really learned what this looked like. For some unknown reason (I suppose it was because he was a good teacher) I chose someone so closed off all I did was try to get him to unravel a bit. It was like pinching a pecan and expecting it to bloom into a rose. Eventually he bolted in the night and never returned. Imagine that.
I was dying inside...for about 3 days. I wailed, I screamed, I gorged on ice cream, and I cussed at God. Heck, if he had given some reason for ghosting like that, at least I could have been mad. Instead I was in shock. After the third day I decided that the lesson here was I still didn't have a clue how to love someone just the way they were. I thought I was supposed to make myself into a person who COULD love them. It did not dawn on me to wait until it came naturally and without effort.
I read books, I walked off the grief, I got focussed on what I had given up to have the men in my life. I got really clear on the feelings I wanted to feel...not what it looked like to everyone else. I played, I stayed centered in the Divine, I took long baths and meditated. Everything I could think of to elevate the energy, and alleviate the pain. And then I put myself out there again. With that knowledge and understanding came the most rewarding marriage I could have ever dreamed of.
Today love is about allowing myself to be scared and do things anyway. It is about sticking around, taking a breath and shutting up long enough to listen to what others feel...not just what I think they are thinking. When I was dating my husband I wanted to run away many times. I kept pointing out my faults to him (sheeesshhh...did I really??) and finally he said "I do not like it when you talk that way about the woman I love". Ouch. I get it now. He saw who I was and wouldn't allow me to scare him off because I was afraid of the kind of love he had to offer. He knew I needed to learn to accept unconditional love and was willing to stick around long enough to let me figure it out.
I am all about love and happiness today...sappy as it might sound to some. We teach others how to treat us by how we present and treat ourselves. I now know how to "look through the eyes of the heart (thank you Father Tony!) at others and realize that each of us has a part to play in this human existence. I don't know what your path is...but now I have an insiders clue to mine, and it helps me let you be you. And that my friends, is unconditional love!
Create a vision in your journal of what unconditional love would feel like today.
Life is a process of sorting through what makes me feel comfortable in my own skin.
Deciding what pain I am willing to live with, or let go of, use to consume my days. Buried in the human heart is pain we don’t want to disturb. Some of us measure our days with countless attempts to keep it hidden. Or we desperately collect people and things to help cover up the pain. The conundrum for me was that everything I wanted most in life seemed to activate the pain. In an attempt to avoid feeling it, I would deny myself the love, the activities, the creativity and events in life that are the essence of my spirit. I locked my true self up because it hurt too much to be the women I was meant to be. There was no one around me that agreed with me or championed my needs or desires. Thank God that is in the past.
We get our ideas of love from caregivers, society and the media without exploring what it feels like coming from inside. I look at you and assume you smile because you are happy and in love…so I try to do what you do, look how you look. And much of the time I am missing out on the unique things that will help me feel what opening my own heart will do for me. What makes me...me.
One of my earliest memories as a child was a day I was feeling overwhelmed by my own feelings and had no one capable of helping me sort them out. Hiding in the garage with my arms around my German shepherd, I soaked her coat with my tears. My heart was broken and I needed someone to tell it to. Isn’t it interesting how much pain a loving pet can absorb? She was the only one who didn’t judge me for my feelings or my pain, and I began to tuck them away from the humans in my life.
Our bodies react with an amazing array of chemicals synchronized to the signals it gets from the brain. If we are traumatized or afraid, we begin to create hardness in certain areas of our bodies that are most susceptible to our thoughts. We harden our heart if it has been threatened, broken, or denied nurturing and care. We begin to create a protective barrier around our heart and not much can get in – or out. We begin to question our decisions and then avoid making them all together. We withdraw from life and then depend on others to produce our happiness for us because our hearts are no longer available to us.
So what is the solution? How do we stop hiding, protecting and shutting ourselves off from the light of love?
It takes courage to step outside the protective shell we have built. It takes curiosity to explore how far out we can go at one time and still return unscathed. Get curious. Begin to explore why the protection is there. Everyone has seen a curious child playing with stackable toys, turning them over and inspecting every surface. Exploring how they fit with other things and delighting when things come together.
Cultivate delight. Do something different. Seek wonder.
Pull out your notebook and write down everything that you quit doing that gave you joy in the past and find a way to do it again. Pick one thing and get busy with it. Pay attention to what it does for your heart. You will find as you give yourself these gifts and recommit to joy, that the walls around your heart will begin to soften, crumble or disappear. And discovering this, you will make yourself more susceptible to love. It is only a step...but it may be the one you need to put you on the path to what you have always wanted.
What activities, interests or accomplishments would bring you joy? (take out your journal and have fun with this and notice how it makes you feel)
This past week has been spent with my husband’s family in another state. At first I was reluctant, as I always am when I am moved out of my comfort zone. I felt the pull of my ego to stay in familiar surroundings, doing familiar things. No surprises. Little chance of having to step up to the plate and make any big decisions. However, getting my heart involved instead of my old behavior patterns was simple to do this year. The burden of selfish self-centeredness is only a passing memory and has afforded me many ah-hah’s and adventures that make that kind of resistance an insane waste of energy.
Today, it is like wearing a suit of armor during a yoga class…
Stepping out of our comfort zone takes courage, especially if you have struggled with addiction, abuse, or a history of trauma. The ‘not-knowing’ factor has always been my biggest hurdle to overcoming fear. As a child growing up in an alcoholic home, I was forced to become adept at predicting the behaviors of others around me. I felt compelled to be one step ahead of the sickness in my home in order to protect myself and my younger siblings. Though being on guard for danger served me well in that alcoholic household, it stifled my spiritual and emotional growth for many years. I went into every job, relationship and experience with my arms in front of my face protecting me from all sorts of imaginary demons and events. This kind of emotional armor also kept me from experiencing life the way I wanted to. Trying to predict the future, so I wasn’t surprised or hurt, blocked everything I wanted from my life - and I didn’t know it.
For years I have been whittling away at that “not-knowing gremlin” that seemingly thrives on my desire to want something new or different in my life. Learning how to get myself out of the way - of myself, has been an interesting and rewarding task that has taken many paths. My own curiosity about what kinds of things are out there to help me grow has been my greatest gift (well that and good therapy). Each step of the way has brought me to a new career, city, marriage, and happiness in the “second half” of life. Today I plan my future by being actively grateful for my present, and in doing this it has lessened my need to “predict” because I am at peace with what “is” right now.
I trained as a Life Coach to help others get to their present quickly, to find ways to harness all the energy that is available to them, and to move into the kind of future that they want. Every time a client moves to a new place of understanding, I am grounded in my own present. There are so many ways to find happiness and fulfillment. I pray that in the coming year as I grow and learn, that my readers and clients will find something that will switch on that power and understanding that rockets them into a new dimension of living.
So…What do you want this year to bring into your life?
Every blog I share comes from the heart and has a challenge or a question within it to help others explore new ways of thinking. I hope that as you read the blogs you would consider starting conversation by commenting. We can learn so much together!